Thursday, January 10, 2013

Still Serving Large Portions at Establishment Lounge

Establishment Lounge on Urbanspoon It'd been a while since I was at Establishment Lounge, and the menu hasn't changed much, so I wouldn't normally have gone again having tried just about everything now, but I was seeing a friend who was going to be away for a year or so to study medicine in Australia, and Establishment was a safe choice of a great restaurant. She was only back in town for a short time, so I wanted to see her off with a great food experience. For excellent, interesting, tasty food I've found you really can't go wrong with Establishment. On top of that, for many items such as the soups, you can expect good quantity for your dollar.
  • Chef Bonbo's Lobster Bisque ($10) creamy, rich lobster bisque infused with brandy, drizzled with lobster remoulade & orange vanilla crème fraîche
    • This delicious soup comes with chunks of lobster big enough to be prawns.
    • If you're not looking for a large meal but want to try more than just the soup, you can ask for it to be split into two bowls.You still get a very good portion -- two bowls of maybe 3 cups of soup, both bowls individually garnished on top.
    • The lobster probably forces the price here to be higher than the peanut soup, but Chef Bongo's Famous African Chicken Peanut Soup is still my top pick at Establishment.
    • There's so much soup here that an inexperienced server will possibly bring out the rest of your order before you are done. You might want to ask to delay your other courses until you have finished the soup, otherwise everything else might get cold, especially for the tapas plates.
  • Bison Short Rib Pappardelle Pasta ($19) slow-braised short ribs, wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, cherry tomatoes & spinach, tossed in a creamy Madeira demi-sauce
    • The Madeira demi-sauce uses pepper so there's a bit of kick to this.
    • The portion is huge, and it's not just filler pasta. There is so much pulled rib here that every bite will probably have some meat stuck to it because of the sticky sauce.
    • I also very much liked that this wasn't very salty despite the generous amount of sauce and meat.
    • If you have both a full bowl of their soup plus this item from their "large plates" you are definitely at risk of not being able to fit in dessert. I gave away half my soup and maybe a quarter to a third of my pasta and I still gave a pass on dessert.
All in all it was another happy evening at Establishment Lounge. At 6pm on Thursday we were one of the few diners there, so it looks like Establishment is still in a sort of black hole of restaurants. Definitely a hidden gem, a bit hard to find with so many restaurants in the neighbourhood.

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